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August 14th, 2012 11:41 AM #21Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
I would absolutely suggest having a breast pump if you plan to breastfeed. And don't listen to the nay-sayers. Breastfeeding is hard work and it takes a lot of dedication, but it is absolutely worth it. You need to go in with the frame of mind that you WILL do it otherwise when it gets touch, you'll quit. Breastpumps are expensive but it will pay for itself in roughly 3 months if you consider what you'll be spending on formula. I'm a nurse and worked in the NICU for a couple of years. That's why I chose to breastfeed my two boys and will do the same with my daughter that I'm having in December. Babies who received breastmilk in the NICU had not near the troubles compared to those getting formula- it's just so much easier on their bellies. I work part time and pumped once each day to keep up my milk supply. I bought a used pump through the local hospital website and just bought all new equipment (tubing, bottles, etc.) from target, the actual pump never gets near the milk. Good luck!
August 14th, 2012 12:42 PM #23Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
I strongly encourage you to get a good electric pump if you plan to continue breastfeeding past 3 months when you return to work. You will not be able to quickly pump the milk your child needs with a manual pump while at work. If you are pumping at work, you need to do it quickly with both breasts at once. If you have a cheaper breast pump that does not have strong suction, then you will not get as much milk out to feed your baby the next day and your supply could go down as a result.
Here is my experience; it may be helpful as I have tried several different things. I BF both my kids for over a year and pumped while working 40+ hours a week after the first three months on leave. I used 4 different pumps.
First I bought a bargan pump before the baby was born. It was noisy, did not have good suction and was kind of painful. So I quickly decided that was not worth it and that I had wasted about $150 on that piece of crap.
After the first baby was born we had complications - totaly unforseen NICU stay and other stuff that interfered with breastfeeding at first. I was given a script for a hosptial grade pump to take home and my insurance covered the cost for a few weeks until I no longer needed it. I told the lactation consultant about pump number 1 that I had purchased and she basically told me I had wasted my money and that that pump would not help me establish my supply the way a stronger pump would. She was right. I had to pump for every feeding for the first few weeks while also working on getting baby to latch and suck. Hard work!!! I don't know why I was so persistant but I was and it paid off in the end.
I work in a hospital that has a nrusing mothers lounge with hospital grade pumps, so when I returned to work I used that - each person using it brought their own attachments and tubing, there was a sink and soap to wash up your stuff, store your stuff and a fridge for milk storage. That was great - except the traffic was seriously high in that room and I could not always get in to pump at the times I had available.
So next I bought a middle of the road personal use pump - Madella Pump in Style to use in my own office since I have a lock on my door that made good sense for me. This option was great - effecient, more quiet than the other pump ext. This was absolutely worth the investment for me. I could pump lots of milk in about 15 minutes two or three times a day (gradually less as my kiddos got older and started eating solid food). I was able to maintain my supply very well with minimal disruption at work.
As far as storage I have tried two things. I used the specialized zip lock storage bags that can freeze milk. These are great and I recommend them if you are going to freeze. However, they are expensive and not worth it if you are going to just send it to day care for baby to drink the next day. in this situation I suggest pumping directly into 4 oz bottles as the pump attachments can screw directly onto standard bottles. I found this to be really easy and then the bottles ere ready for use the next day. You will need to buy several of these bottles but that will save $$ in the long run instead of those bags. While at work I kept my milk in a little soft sided cooler lunch bag with a cooler freezer block (what do you call these things) in there and my milk stayed pleanty cold. I used to use the community fridge but then I kept forgetting the milk at work, which doesn't help anyone.
You may want to wait to buy the pump until the middle of your leave just to make sure you are indeed committing to breastfeeding and that everything is working out for you. If you need a pump early on due to some complication, your insruance will probably cover the cost of a hosptial grade rental - ask your OB for a script before discharge from the hospital if you have this concern.
Early on babies do need to eat frequently. To get your milk to come in it really helps to put that baby to the breast every 2 hours because the supply will only follow if there is demand. If the baby is not latching and sucking and stimulating the breast properly, then the milk may not come in fast enough - if you have this concern get a lactation consultent to see you in the hospital within the first day of life - searously! Most nurses are great at helping out with this too while you are on the maternity ward but a lactation consultant can get right down to the problem and focus on what you need. Then after your milk is in you can follow the lead of your child and the time between feedings will likely stretch out to 3 within a few short weeks (well, it won't seem short to you at the time).
Hopefully this helps. Best of luck - you can do it!